Written by: Tom Hopkins
We’re in New Haven, Connecticut and we’re in the Christmas Spirit! If this aired today we’d say this was the HOLIDAY season. Mr. Perfect tells us a secret about Santa Claus (and Vince is worried he’d tell kids the truth) – that Flair is Santa Claus. We get a voice-over to complement that, too. That was a really funny opener.
-Ric Flair (w/Mr. Perfect) vs. Dale Wolfe-
Vince talks about the video distortion of the belt because Tunney doesn’t want non-WWE Titles on the show. Of course this was really because the WWE were sued by the NWA/WCW and thus they couldn’t show it. Because these were filmed way in advance the video distortion was used. This is still the Big Gold belt and not the WWE Tag Team title that he used after this. Flair makes quick work of Wolfe, making him submit to a figure-four at 1:39.
We’re at the Update Center with Gene Okerlund and this is brought to us by Coliseum Video and the 1991 Survivor Series. Forget the Survivor Series – let’s talk about the Royal Rumble. The winner of the Rumble wins the WWE Title. We hear from some of the participants: Jake Roberts (who calls out Savage), Hacksaw Jim Duggan (the first ever Rumble winner), Tito Santana,
-The Rockers vs. Bob Wistman & Paul Perez-
The Rockers were very close to breaking up by this point and it was pretty clear watching that Shawn was going to break off as the heel. McMahon even offers speculation during the match’s opening seconds that Michaels and Jannetty weren’t on good terms and Michaels may break off to go on his own. Perfect tells us he has a secret about the two. Michaels hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker before elbowing the jobber to the outside. Michaels follows and super-kicks him. That wouldn’t become his finisher for another few years. The other jobber comes in and Michaels goes after him as Jannetty waits for a tag. Shawn super-kicks the other jobber twice before covering for the pinfall at 2:34. Jannetty was never tagged in and he doesn’t look too happy. Jannetty leaves the ring as Michaels continues to celebrate. Looking back their break-up was well orchestrated.
Sean Mooney is with us in a very festive looking Event Center. It’s all Rumble and we hear from more people involved in the Rumble: IRS, Texas Tornado and the Warlord (w/Harvey Whippleman). Furthermore Sean tells us that Undertaker and Hogan will draw from #’s 20-30 while everyone else picks from 1-30.
We look back ad Classy Freddy Blassie presenting an award to Bret Hart for the best wrestler of the year.
-Bret Hart vs. Bob Bradley-
Perfect says the Mountie has a chance to take the IC title and that would prove prophetic. Mountie would take it at a house show prior to the Royal Rumble. Of course Piper would win it there (his only WWE title) and Hart would win it back at Wrestlemania. Mountie cuts a mid-match promo and he calls 1992 the year of the Mountie. Bret finishes with a Sharpshooter at 2:08.
We’re back at the Event Center with more Rumble related promos. We hear from the British Bulldog, The Berzerker and Virgil (who hopes to be #1 and that Repo Man is #2 and DiBiase is #3). Virgil’s promo was actually pretty good.
-IRS vs. Phil Apollo-
IRS says that repealing taxes is craziness and everyone should pay their due. IRS hits a flying clothesline early and hits a nice butterfly suplex. IRS cheats when using an abdominal stretch as we hear from a pre-recorded interview. Save your money when Christmas shopping because you’ll need it to pay the taxman. The Samoan Drop (Write-Off) ends this at 1:48.
We look back to last week and the Bushwhackers rescuing Jameson. This leads to Gene Okerlund interviewing the Bushwhackers and Jameson. You’ve never lived until you’ve seen Okerlund’s impression of the Bushwhackers. To quote Mr. Perfect, “I’ve never seen anything so stupid in my life.” The Bushwhackers have the Beverly Brothers on their mind. Jameson says he’s gonna turn the Genius into the Doofus. They also say they’ll the Beverly Brothers into Beverly Sisters. I must’ve wiped their match from my memory because I have no recollection of it at all.
-Undertaker vs. Al Phillips-
We hear from the Undertaker and Paul Bearer. Undertaker will have the title back after the Royal Rumble. I hate to spoil things but he wouldn’t win it at the Rumble and wouldn’t actually win it for another 4 years – finally capturing it at Wrestlemania XIII in 1997. Taker toys with Phillips for entirely too long until he ends with a vicious looking Tombstone at 3:15. Phillips literally took that one right on his head – it was almost Owen/Austin levels of bad. Phillips does the body-bag treatment afterwards.
We hear from more people participating in the Royal Rumble including: Roddy Piper, Repo Man, Skinner and Ted DiBiase (w/Sensational Sherri).
-Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Sgt. Slaughter vs. Peter Weeks & Chris Duffy-
Slaughter had asked for his country back and I guess Duggan gave it to him. Slaughter and Duffy start and it doesn’t go well for Duffy. Duffy is sling-shot to the outside as we hear from the Sarge and Hacksaw wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year. Ho, ho, HOOOOOOOOO! By the way, that’s really what they said. The three-point stance clothesline ends this at 3:20. This was too long.
We’re back at the Event Center. Ric Flair (w/Perfect) doesn’t know how he’s going to carry two titles to the ring with him. We hear from Tito Santana (again) and the Beverly Brothers (w/Genius). Vince and Perfect send us off towards Christmas as they preview next week: Rick Martel, Big Boss Man and Repo Man will be in action. We’ll get more Rumble participants as well as the Funeral Parlor with Roddy Piper. Finally we’ll have the Legion of Doom defending their tag titles against the Rockers.
-The Bottom Line-
Wow, this was another terrible episode. Honestly the most exciting thing in this episode was the previews for next week. The gang was in New Haven (basically home-base) and was totally phoning it in before the holiday season. You don’t need to waste your time with this one.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.